Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.

Has anyone ever used 5HTP or St John's Wort for depression?

(4 Posts)
DownAndConfused Fri 18-Sep-15 21:09:30

I've been depressed for 2 years now. I'm seeing a counsellor and on a waiting list for CBT. I tried an antidepressant (escitalopram) but it made me really anxious and upset my stomach. I was searching for natural antidepressants and St John's Wort and 5HTP came up. Have either of these helped anyone? I am very tearful (I cry at least once a day) and have no motivation to do the things I need to do around the house and for my home business. I am fed up feeling like this!

CloakAndJagger Sat 19-Sep-15 19:42:38

I've used 5HTP before and at first it helped me sleep, but after that the whole thing was so-so.

TheCokeMachine Sat 19-Sep-15 20:19:30

5HTP gave me horrible stomach ache. I was doubled over with pain. If you are sensitive to SSRIs I'd advise caution.

But, the stomach pain stopped within 48 hours of ending it.

Personally it's not for me, but you will know quickly if it doesn't agree with you and can just stop immediately. Sorry you are feeling so low.

Butterchunks Sat 19-Sep-15 20:24:01

I've already posted this one your other thread but wanted to put it here also, just in case anyone else is looking for help with similar issues...

DownAndConfused Your GP is simply wrong in saying that antidepressants are all dangerous in pregnancy. Yes some are know to cause defects but there are plenty that are not associated with any increased risk. Anxiety and depression during pregnancy are themselves are a known risk to mother and baby during pregnancy so it is entirely up to you if you decide to medicate or not.

I chose to take medication, I am a scientist and made sure to research the risks myself. I am 23 weeks pregnant, I take amitriptyline and everything in my pregnancy has been fine - I feel better than I have in years (after over a decade of taking over a dozen AD with varying effects). Sorry that you had a bed reaction to escitalopram (I did too when I tried it) but there are many, many other ADs that you could try- that one didn't work, the next one might be perfect for you.

Ask for a referral to a specialist Psychiatric consultant; GPs are not specialists and will often err on the side of caution or simply not be well informed enough to help you. I saw a number of psychiatric consultants prior to TTC and all were happy to prescribe a wide range of ADs that were compatible with pregnancy/conception. All the risks were outlined and the key points they kept making was that it is better for an expectant mother to be well, and that they would never consider prescribing anything that might be a risk to pregnancy.

If you are under the care of mental health professionals during pregnancy they will look after you, it will be in your notes and will likely be discuss regularly with Drs and midwives. If you decide to self medicate and take something "natural" there will not be any backup if you need it, no one monitoring you and no medical knowledge in the event of an emergency; there is also just as much chance that you will experience unpleasant side effects from these remedies too. There will be far greater knowledge in the medical community about the effects of a prescribed drug than one you have bought over the internet, or from Holland and Barrett for example. The same goes for the effects of any drug with respect to the post-partum phase (breastfeeding or withdrawal etc.)

Pregnancy is a difficult time (before, during and after), and with mental health worries even more so. Don't do it on your own, get some from someone specialised in that area who will give you educated advice and support.

Good luck

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now